Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads

Fresh off the resounding success of the inaugural Mankato Marathon, Mark Bongers and the staff at Final Stretch decided to add another race for Mankato-area runners to sink their teeth into.

Their newest creation is the 7 at 7 Trail Race, a trail run which will take place on May 15 at Seven Mile Creek Park, which is located off of Highway 169 between Mankato and St. Peter. The race will be ran entirely on the park's trails (though it's unclear which trails will be utilized, or what the course map is) and participants will have the option of running a 7-mile or 5k race. A Kid's 1k will also take place.

Cost for the 7-mile race is $30 until March 15, at which point it goes up to $35. The 5k race is $25/$30 with the same registration deadlines.

This won't be the first time a race has graced the trails of Seven Mile Creek. A 5 at 7 Trail Race took place there in 2008, with Chaun Cox winning the 5.1-mile race in 40:36. (Free Press story here)

Although nobody expects this year's version of the trail race to rival the Mankato Marathon for participation (seriously, can you imagine 5,000 runners in the Seven Mile Creek parking lot?), I'm guessing it will attract more runners than the 22 it drew in 2008. Road races have been growing big-time in popularity over the last few years, and groups like the Mankato Multisport Club have helped establish a healthy running culture (no pun intended) in the area.

Count me in as one of the excited runners for this race. Trail runs in general are a lot easier on the body (more cushion than the road) and Seven Mile Creek seems like the perfect place to hold a race. The honeycomb of river valley trails there are beautiful to walk through, so I imagine they'd be just as beautiful to run through. I've always wanted to run in a trail race, and this event provides a convenient avenue to do so.

If that's not enough, it's going toward a good cause. The race is being done to help raise money for the BackPack Food Program, a Mankato United Way initiative to help ensure that underprivileged kids get nutritious meals when they're not at school.

1 comment:

  1. We are very excited about this race. You are right, proceeds will benefit the BackPack Food Program which is actually a program of the newly formed Non-Profit Feeding Our Communities Partners(FOCP) and the race is being orgaznized by the Mankato Multisport Club & FOCP with Race Management from Final Stretch. We hope to see over 400 runners at this inagural race May 15th. To register go here : http://www.finalstretch.com/running-events/seven-at-seven/info/